Congratulations Dr Emma Säfström

On the 31 of mars, Emma Säfström defended her thesis ”Continuity of care after hospitalization due to cardiac conditions: Patients’ perceptions, validity and reliability of a measure, and associations with outcomes”. Professor Anna Forsberg from Lunds University was the opponent. The thesis describes how patients with cardiac conditions perceive continuity of care after discharge from hospital, and how it is associated with factors such as perceived control self-care, health-related quality of life and readmissions.

The inspiration for the thesis came from clinical experiences of patients’ vulnerability after discharge. ‘After discharge from hospital, the patients are very vulnerable, and I wanted to improve their situation’ Emma Säfström says and develops: ’The patients may receive care from specialized outpatient clinics, primary care and home healthcare at the same time. If the responsibilities between the different health care providers are not clear, there is a risk of fragmentation of care. In the worst-case scenario, the patients are left on their own to organize the care’.

In order to enable measuring the patients’ perception, a Canadian questionnaire; the Patient Continuity of Care Questionnaire (PCCQ) was translated from English to Swedish and adapted to a Swedish setting. Data was collected from 1000 patients. The questionnaire has proved good validity and reliability. Furter, the patients perceived highest levels of continuity in items related to relational continuity and lowest levels of continuity in items related to management continuity.

Now, the goal is that the questionnaire PCCQ will be implemented and used as a validated, standardized way to evaluate the patients’ perception of continuity of care after hospitalization.

The thesis is available: